Meet Our Team
Dr Max Fargher

Max graduated from the University of Queensland in 1990. Immediately working in mixed practice in Darwin and small animal practice in Brisbane before coming to Cairns in February of 1993 and opening his own small animal practice in Brinsmead in 1997 after a short stint at being a mobile vet in Cairns and surrounds.

During this time Max has completed many courses of further education in dermatology, opthalmology, emergency medicine, laparoscopy, advanced surgical and orthopaedic techniques, dentistry, ultrasonography, practice management, advanced care of tick paralysis patients, feline medicine and surgery, abdominal surgery, thoracic medicine and cardiology.  

From this training Max has developed special interests and skills in all aspects of orthopaedic surgery enabling him to provide state of the art care for patients with broken bones and in particular cruciate ligament injuries, the commonest form of hindlimb lameness in dogs. Through Max's special training in laporoscopy, at Balaclava we can now offer keyhole surgery for chest and abdominal investigations as well as nasal and ear scope examinations.

Dermatology, opthalmology, dentistry and soft tissue surgery are other areas Max has developed a keen interest and skills in.

Away from work Max enjoys spending time with his wife, four children, cockatiel, Chihuahua and greyhound. His hobbies revolve around personal fitness (having completed the Pyramid race three times) and home renovations. 

Dr Akihiro Matsui
  • DVM
  • BVetBioSc

Akihiro joined Balaclava Vet Surgery in May 2016. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, he moved to Gold Coast, Australia when he was 12 years old after meeting with beautiful people and wildlife while he was travelling around Australia with his family. He completed his undergraduate degree in Veterinary Bioscience, and went on to earn his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Adelaide. By the time of graduation he missed good-old tropical atmosphere which led him to fly back to Queensland.

Akihiro has a golden retriever named Chance and a three-legged cat, who was carried into Balaclava Vet Surgery as a stray cat after getting hit by a car, named Taiga. He is also an exotic animal enthusiast, in which his 3 snakes and over 20 aquarium tanks keeps him busy during his free time.

Dr Chad Marais
Veterinary Associate

Dr Chad Marais qualified as a Veterinarian from the University of Pretoria, South Africa in 2018.
He worked as a State Veterinarian for the South African Government for the duration of 2019. During this time, he worked as a mixed animal Veterinarian - dealing with companion, production, and South African wildlife animals. He then emigrated to Australia in 2020 with his wife and Border Collie. Dr Chad joined the Balaclava Veterinary practice in February 2020, where he has been working with domestic animals. Chad has a passion for soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery.

Chad enjoys his off days with his wife, walking their two Border Collies – Chase and Storm on the beach, going fishing and exploring their new country.

Practice Manager

Caitlin has been a Veterinary Nurse since 2008 and a Practice Manager since 2014. She is originally from Newcastle and moved to Cairns in 2013. She absolutely loves her Maine Coon, Crowley (even when he does not want to return the love) and her 2 goof ball dogs, Ronnie the Catahoula and Trigger the German Shepherd.

In her spare time Caitlin loves to knit, sew, and go four-wheel driving, camping and fishing with her family.

Senior Vet Nurse

My Veterinary career started in 1991 in the UK. I worked in a small animal practice for 9 years before I made the move to Australia. After working in both NSW & Qld I took a break for a while to have my son.
I have a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing and am currently Senior Nurse at My Pet Hub Balaclava, Cairns.
I'm passionate about all animals but have a particular soft spot for our Golden Oldies & Critical Care patients

Vet Nurse

Angela joined Balaclava Veterinary Surgery in 2013, previously working as a medical receptionist for 20 years at a doctor’s surgery. Being a Veterinary Nurse was a passion to be achieved for her where age had no barriers. Angela has completing her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing and has a keen interest in increasing her knowledge in animal behaviour to help clients to achieve a happy and healthy relationship with their pet. She runs the puppy classes which are fun and provide a wealth of information for the clients.

After work Angela's time is taken up with her menagerie which include two dogs, Matilda and Max, Napoleon the goose, as well as ducks and chickens.

Vet Nurse

Annabel completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2018. She recently joined our Balaclava Vet team and absolutely loves her job. She owns two beautiful cats, and in her spare time she enjoys watching movies and trying out new places to eat.

Vet Nurse

My name is Madaline, I finished my cert III in 2021. I plan on continuing my study and moving onto a cert IV, I have a special interest in emergency nursing but love every aspect of nursing. I’m obsessed with all animals great and small and especially obsessed with my fur baby Revy.

Vet Nurse

Hi meet Tammy! Tammy is living her dream by being one of our newest cert III qualified vet nurse’s. Tammy loves camping, reading, and catching up with friends. Tammy has two fur babies, and previously worked the last 20 years in retail. Tammy feels happiest helping our furry friends regain their health and seeing them reunited with their families.